Shop Locally; FAO Urges Public to Support COVID-19 Affected SMEs



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - In an effort to dampen economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has called for the public to grocery shop from local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

    “It is time for us to pay attention to one another and to appreciate the people at the frontline in this pandemic who produce our food, “ said FAO Representative in Indonesia, Stephen Rudgard, in an official release, received by Tempo in Jakarta, on Thursday, April 30.

    With the pandemic heavily impacting a number of economic sectors, the FAO evaluates appreciation and support for local farmers to be paramount in supporting their livelihood. 

    “Keep a warm place in your heart for the food heroes during this pandemic, like smallholder farmers and fishers, as well as the truck drivers and staff at markets/supermarkets that bring the food to us,” read the FAO’s appeal.

    However, as important as it is to support local food producers, ensuring the safety of grocery shoppers and the local businesses themselves, by wearing a mask, committing to physical distancing and keeping hands regularly sanitized, remain equally important.

    When grocery shopping, include nutritious ingredients in the shopping list to help maintain a healthy diet during the pandemic. However, do check to keep the shopping list sensible, as it is in everybody’s best intention to avoid stockpiling.

    With generosity in mind, FAO points out the importance of sharing during this crisis. “Please do share your food, or support food banks, community groups, or charities that provide free food to vulnerable people when possible.”

    In the fight against the global pandemic, FAO continues to coordinate with the Indonesian government in providing council and support on measures taken by the government, geared to dampen the impact of the pandemic on Indonesia's food system.